removing old solder joints


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Old 04-04-06, 04:04 PM
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removing old solder joints

hello fellow plumbers and plumbettes,

quick question...


i have heated up solder joints that i've recently made before to dissasemble them. but the other day, when i wanted to remove an old valve, i couldn't melt the solder. is it possible to melt old solder and remove the fittings?


i need to remove a series of valves and there is little piping to play with above the floor, so it would be best if i could melt the soldered joints and remove them instead of cutting the pipe. when i tried, i did have the system drained.

thanks for any input,
max
 
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Old 04-04-06, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by maxslomoff
hello fellow plumbers and plumbettes,

quick question...


i have heated up solder joints that i've recently made before to dissasemble them. but the other day, when i wanted to remove an old valve, i couldn't melt the solder. is it possible to melt old solder and remove the fittings?


i need to remove a series of valves and there is little piping to play with above the floor, so it would be best if i could melt the soldered joints and remove them instead of cutting the pipe. when i tried, i did have the system drained.

thanks for any input,
max
In my experience - yes it's possible - however - sometimes the fittings are a "bear" to get off without damaging the pipes. Even though the system is "drained" - are you sure the section your working is empty? Even a little water will affect your work. Are you using MAPP gas? It provides a hotter flame and, IMO - works better....
 
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Old 04-04-06, 10:33 PM
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i am using mapp gas. but the flame is not a sharp blue point,
its a flopping bursting ball.

do you think that matters? do i need to buy a new tip?
 
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Old 04-04-06, 10:51 PM
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Sounds like the air/fuel mixture is off. A new tip would probably make a difference.

Make sure you have all water removed from the piping while trying to remove these fittings.
 
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Old 04-05-06, 12:00 AM
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trick question:


these are the valves controling different zones in a hydronic system in the floor of a ground level house.


whats the best way to try and get all of the water out from under there? use a pump?
 
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Old 04-05-06, 12:15 AM
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If you have two openings, use a shop vac to suck it out or compressed air to blow it out if you have enough flow (cfm).

If the pipes can be moved around at least one diameter, the easiest and 100% reliable way is to cut the pipe the somewhere in the vicinity.


A good propane torch beats a bad MAPP torch any day.
Old or new solder, propane is does the job.
 
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Old 05-08-06, 06:37 PM
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Bread

I don't know if this is possible for your situation, but I have had luck by stuffing bread into the ends of the pipes to absorb the water. They are harmless when water is introduced back into the pipes.

Best of luck
 
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Old 05-08-06, 06:42 PM
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As bolide says, propane should do the job. In addition, Mapp and some of the hotter gasses won't work properly with a standard tip. Not sure why. I thought I had a clogged tip when using Mapp, and switched to propane, and it burned hot and pointy. Switched back to Mapp, and sluggo. Poor tip and I had to keep adjusting the knob just to keep the fire up. I am back to propane for sweating (or unsweating).
 
 

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